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What Are The Vegan Options At Joe’s Crab Shack? (Updated Guide)

What Are The Vegan Options At Joe’s Crab Shack? (Updated Guide)

Joe’s Crab Shack, as the name suggests, is a restaurant that specializes in seafood, specifically, crabs. The company operates in America and has several locations in the country. Since seafood is generally not vegan, you’d assume that Joe’s Crab Shack doesn’t have any vegan options, but believe it or not, they do.

Joe’s Crab Shack, according to our research, has exactly seven vegan options, all of which are side dishes, not including the drinks.

In other words, it is still possible to have a meal in Joe’s Crab Shack, though you won’t be getting the full experience due to the limited options available. But if you want to at least make the most of it, it’d help if you know what these options are.

7 Vegan Options From Joe’s Crab Shack

As stated earlier, Joe’s Crab Shack has seven menu items suitable for a vegan diet, all of which are side dishes. More specifically, they belong to the restaurant’s Sea Side menu category. Let’s take a closer look at each option.

1. Corn

Joe’s Crab Shack’s corn side dish is basically just seasoned corn.

As simple as it may be, it’s one of the very few vegan options from the restaurant. This side dish offers 190 calories, according to their website, and costs $3.99.

2. Cup Of Soup

The restaurant allows customers to add a cup of soup to any entrée for $3.49.

Though it’s meant to serve as a side dish much like the rest of this list, you can also order a cup of soup by itself, though admittedly, it’s not worth your while.

3. French Fries

Just like corn, this side dish is just French fries with seasonings. It costs $3.99 and offers 270 calories. But just to be on the safe side, if you’re ordering their French fries, you may have to pass on dressing since it can potentially be non-vegan.

4. Potatoes

If you’re looking for a less-processed version of your fries, Joe’s Crab Shack’s potato side dish would be an excellent choice. Just like most of their dishes, it costs $3.99 and provides roughly 300 calories. Again, these are plain potatoes with some seasonings. Therefore, you can rest assured that this is completely vegan.

5. Salad

Everyone knows that vegans often eat salad, so it’s only natural to assume that the salad side dish from Joe’s Crab Shack is completely vegan.

While that assumption is mostly true, it’s not always the case.

One must remember that non-vegans typically use mayonnaise as a dressing for salads of any kind, be it a fruit salad, vegetable salad, or even a meat salad.

So, what’s wrong with that? you may ask.

To start with, mayonnaise is not vegan since one of its crucial ingredients is egg, which as you may already know is not vegan. In short, a salad will be vegan only if it doesn’t have a mayonnaise dressing. For that reason, when ordering a salad from Joe’s Crab Shack, ask the staff to refrain from using mayonnaise.

6. Seasonal Vegetables

A seasonal vegetable refers to any vegetable that’s growing at its peak in the current season. For example, in summer, the seasonal vegetables are cucumber, radish, garlic, and more, while avocadoes, beets, and broccoli are for winter.

The seasonal vegetable side dish from Joe’s Crab Shack is basically a platter full of vegetables that are growing at their peak during the current season.

The side dish costs $3.99 and has around 70 calories.

7. White Rice

The white rice side dish is basically just white rice.

For your reference, white rice is rice milled to remove its bran, germ, and husk. It has a different texture, flavor, and, of course, appearance, from regular rice.

Though it doesn’t have the same nutrients as it had when it still contained germ and bran, it’s still healthy due to the nutrients added in the milling process.

This side dish comes with 210 calories and costs $3.99.

Note that menus from each Joe’s Crab Shack location may vary from one another.

Their San Diego branch may offer a side salad, but not in their Oceanside chain. For that reason, you might want to take into account the restaurant’s location.

However, one item from the menu that will always be available in Joe’s Crab Shack is their specialty drinks, which, fortunately, are mostly vegan.

Joe’s Crab Shack: Specialty Drinks

A specialty drink refers to any drink that originates or is unique to a particular establishment. Joe’s Crab Shack has nine specialty drinks, including:

  1. Berry & Blues
  2. Better Belize It
  3. Boozy In Bora Bora
  4. Caribbean Cooler
  5. Cranberry Crush
  6. Fiji Fusion
  7. Longboard Lemonade
  8. Stage Dive
  9. Watermelon Sangria

Much like dishes, each of these specialty drinks is a combination of two or more existing drinks. The Caribbean Cooler, for example, is a combination of Minute Maid Lemonade, Wild Berry Purée, and Sprite. Since that’s the case, you may find it difficult to figure out which is vegan and which is not, but that’s why you’re here.

Below is a chart of each beverage that comprises Joe’s Crab Shack’s nine specialty drinks and classification on whether that particular drink is vegan or not.

Angostura BittersYes
Bacardi Superior RumYes
Beso Del Sol Rosé SangriaYes
Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum (Banana, Coconut)Yes
Bols AmarettoYes
Cointreau Orange LiqueurYes
Deep Eddy Peach VodkaYes
Dekuyper Blue CuracaoYes
Finest Call Wild Berry PuréeYes
Fruit Juice (Orange, Pineapple, Lemon)Yes
J Roget Sparkling WineNo
Jack Daniel’s Rye WhiskeyYes
Mango LiqueurYes
Minute Maid LemonadeYes
Orange And Cranberry JuiceYes
Réal Cream Of CoconutYes
Réal Purée (Blueberry, Watermelon, Peach, Raspberry)Yes
Tito’s Handmade VodkaYes
Joe’s Crab Shack Specialty Drinks Chart

As you can see, only one out of all the specialty drinks from Joe’s Crab Shack is not vegan—J Roget Sparkling Wine, which is an ingredient of Watermelon Sangria.

In other words, only Watermelon Sangria is not suitable for a vegan diet.

But do keep in mind that some of these items are a bit risky.

Minute Maid Lemonade, for example, may not be vegan depending on what product we’re talking about. If the Minute Maid Lemonade contains vitamin D, for example, then it’s most likely not vegan as it potentially comes from animals.

Joe’s Crab Shack Non-Vegan Side Dishes

According to Joe’s Crab Shack’s website, they offer a total of ten side dishes.

Since most of the side dishes from Joe’s Crab Shack are vegan, you’d assume that the remaining ones are, too, but that cannot be further from the truth.

There are three side dishes that are not vegan and for inconspicuous reasons.

Below is a look at each one of these non-vegan side dishes.

1. Hushpuppies

Hushpuppies are small, deep-fried, round balls commonly served with seafood. Though there are several ways to make a hushpuppy, there’s one ingredient that you’ll always need, and that is milk and eggs to create the batter. Unfortunately, since these particular ingredients are not vegan, hushpuppies, too, are not vegan.

2. Mashed Potatoes

Since potatoes and fries are vegan, you’d think mashed potatoes are the same, but they’re not. This is because, in order to make mashed potatoes, you need milk and butter to create a creamy texture.

Since it’s difficult to find vegan substitutes that can replicate the texture, it’s safe to assume Joe’s Crab Shack’s mashed potatoes are by no means vegan.

3. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is yet another side dish that you’d think is vegan.

If you’re not familiar with this particular dish, it’s basically a side dish consisting of sliced raw cabbage with mayonnaise dressing; yes, mayonnaise.

Since mayonnaise, as stated earlier, isn’t vegan, then coleslaw isn’t vegan as well.

These three side dishes may seem vegan at first glance, but they’re not. That’s why having a guide such as this to confirm the facts can be quite helpful.

Now, what if you want to enjoy seafood without breaking your vegan diet? Are there vegan seafood main dishes you can try? Fortunately, there are.

3 Vegan Seafood Main Dishes

Believe it or not, according to, there are several seafood main dishes out there that cater to the vegan lifestyle. Read on for some examples:

  • Fish Tacos from The Owlery are made of tofu, red cabbage, pico de gallo, and lime sauce. Though it’s not perfect, it replicates the taste of fish.
  • Seafood Hot Pot from Vegan House consists of vegan shrimp, onions, garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, and vermicelli noodles.
  • Artichoke Oysters from Crossroads make use of oyster mushrooms, kelp caviar, and tomato béarnaise to replicate the taste of oysters.

Parting Words

One of the main downsides to being vegan is that you’ll have to forget about the taste of seafood since most seafood-oriented dishes go against the vegan lifestyle. That’s why vegan seafood dishes are quite rare. But while they may be rare, vegan seafood main dishes do exist. You just have to look hard enough.